Remote Sensing for Landfill Site in Iceland

The environmental engineering company ReSource International ehf. has signed an agreement with the municipal waste management company SORPA bs. (Great Reykjavík) concerning the use of regular drone surveys at their landfill site. ReSource has already developed in the past with SORPA some advanced monitoring method for the landfill gas collection system which resulted in more quantities and quality of the collected landfill gas used later on as biofuel for the capital area. The new agreement will push forward boundaries in landfill surveying and scientific knowledge in the field. Use of regular UAV geo-​surveys will help the landfill operator to save costs for daily operation and more accurately control their landfilling process in addition to collecting a new type of data relevant for research purposes. Furthermore, the partnership proposes to develop new methods to monitor landfill gas emissions based on laser technology and thermal mapping.

This new partnership is the achievement of the strong collaboration between SORPA and ReSource International and will offer new applications for UAVs in the field of environmental engineering and waste management.


Microplastics Research

Microplastics have been in the spotlight recently in Iceland following news about how widespread it is in wastewater in other countries. Wastewater treatment is limited in Iceland and microplastics are not actively removed from it. RSI has for the past year been working on method development for microplastics analysis in collaboration with Veitur and Hafnarfjarðarbær. Our main task was to develop scientifically valid sampling and analysis methods for microplastics in both wastewater and drinking water. 

More information on this project can be found in Icelandic HERE.


Plastic in Asphalt – Research Project

ReSource International is pleased to announce the award of a research grant from the Icelandic Technical Development Fund for a project to assess the technical possibilities of the addition of mixed waste plastic to asphalt.

The project will assess the technical feasibility of using mixed waste plastic, currently exported to Sweden for recycling and energy recovery, as an additive in hot mix asphalt. Numerous studies and real-​life evidence from India suggest that not only would this help solve an economic and environmental problem of waste, but that it could also strengthen asphalt considerably and increase its lifespan. As Iceland has an unforgiving climate and one of the highest lengths of road per capita in the world – almost 50m per person – this has the potential to have a large impact on the Icelandic economy.

RSI will also use its expertise in microplastic monitoring to conduct in-​depth assessments of any possible negative environmental effects from the process, including from road dust and leaching.

RSI will lead the project in partnership with two main Icelandic asphalt companies, Hlaðbær Colas and Malbikunarstöðin Höfði, the waste management company SORPA and the asphalt testing centre at the Icelandic Innovation Centre, and lifecycle assessments of the project will be conducted by a student from the Technical University of Denmark.


See Perlan With a Thermal Camera

Here are few pictures from a survey last month in Reykjavík. The building is called The Pearl (Perlan) and used to be hot water storage for the city. Today some tanks are still in operation and the rest of the building is a museum, a restaurant, a coffee, panoramic terrace and a glacier exhibition. For the curious, see more info HERE.

We had to fly at sunset with our thermal camera to inspect the insulation of the operating tanks. Proper authorization needed to be acquired as the building is close to air traffic from Reykjavík domestic airport. Beautiful shots!


Could 3D printing help to develop the circular economy?

3D printing is making a lot of noise today. From hobbyist developing new kind of machines to the most advanced methods in the aerospace and medical industry, all production and innovation processes are involved. 3D printing proposes a new approach in manufacturing where raw material use is optimised and waste is minimal or non-​existent. It allows for reduction of prototyping steps, production of smaller series with reasonable costs and reduction of assembling time. But could 3D printing also help with the circular economy?

You might not know but this week is the European Week for Waste Reduction. On the occasion, we wanted to share with you two examples from our employees on how plastic toys can be easily fixed with 3D printing. Often toys can become useless because of a broken part or missing part, and a simple solution can make them good as new.

Do you have some toys at home that could be fixed the same way? Please post a picture in a comment on our facebook post!


Fully 3D printed model aircraft flies with success

3D printing is getting more and more affordable for small and medium-​sized companies as well as individuals. ReSource International (RSI) is using 3D printers to support its own services and operation. Whether laboratory accessories or camera mounts for drones, the 3D printers offer new approaches to design and innovation in engineering. The most recent example is a completely 3D printed airframe based on the drawings from 3DLabPrint. The airframe is a replica of the legendary Spitfire Mk XVI. The airframe was fully printed and assembled at the offices of RSI and successfully flown at a nearby field. This is a new step for RSI’s in-​house drone development and production for commercial use.


Drone aerial mapping is now available for large areas in Iceland

It is with great pleasure that we announce the start of operation of our new fixed-​wing drone E384 from the company Event38. The E384 can fly 400 hectares in 100 minutes at 5cm resolution completely autonomously. This is a big game changer in the extension of our services. We can now map large areas up to 1000 hectares efficiently in 2D and 3D areas with all points georeferenced both in visual light and NDVI (plant growth).

You can have a look at some examples of projects.


MSc thesis projects funded by SORPA bs. and ReSource International

From 2017 to 2020, the greater Reykjavík municipal waste company SORPA bs. is sponsoring research into the processing of waste at the Álfsnes waste management site, in partnership with the environmental engineering company ReSource International ehf. (RSI). Currently, mixed household waste is landfilled, but there is a moratorium on landfill organic waste due to come into force in 2020. Thus, a biogas and compost plant is being built to receive 20.000 tons of organic waste annually, along with various means of removing contaminants such as plastic. This will also allow for better utilization of waste streams, with increased biogas production, a new generation of compost production, production of other useful organic compounds such as biodiesel or fertilizer and a relatively pure inorganic fraction with many possibilities for recycling or useful diversion.

Research program

In this program, two MSc students will work each year on two research streams.

  1. The first stream will examine biogas production optimization techniques for the plant through pretreatment of organic waste and design of recirculation systems using Iceland‘s unique access to hot water resources. This research stream will also involve the building and operation of the semi-​scale model of the plant, along with participating in the design and construction of backup digesters to facilitate risk management.
  2. The second stream of work will focus on the processing of non-​organic waste streams that are separated from organic and household waste streams, comprising largely of mixed plastics. Currently, this waste stream is exported for incineration at considerable expense, but there are possibilities to use it more productively, for instance, to improve road construction materials and to create various kinds of synthetic fuel.

More information can be found HERE.


Thermal Imaging Services

ReSource is starting to provide a new service of thermal imaging using drones. We can do maps of the area with thermal pictures, and regular pictures and videos. Thermal imaging can be used for inspection of roofs, hot water pipes, storage leakage, surveying of geothermal areas and much more! Have a look at some example here and don´t hesitate to contact us for more information or if you would like a survey.


An open-​source volumetric gasmeter for lab scale fermentation processes

Biogas potential tests are the most relevant tests today to predict biogas production from biomass. They are often done using expensive equipment such as pressure sensors or small-​scale gas flow meter. In order to reduce costs and be able to have a higher number of replicates, it is necessary to provide research facilities with lower cost solutions without compromising precision of the measurements.

The environmental engineering and services company, ReSource International based in Reykjavik, Iceland has developed an open-​source system based on classical water displacement measurement. The system called #Bioklik is based on the open-​source Arduino board and operates automatically to measure a low flow of gas from fermentation processes. The #Bioklik system can also be used to monitor any other kind of fermentation process operated at laboratory scale with a continuous flow of gas such as brewing for example.

The design and files from the prototype will be available soon on our website in the spirit of the open-​source movement.

Are you interested in this project?

We would like to gather interest from the community to help us determine the potential of this project and to determine who would be interested in ordering at least the Arduino shield or the full unit.